Piano & Accordion Player Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Photo of Carolyn Holyoke standing up against an old stone wall wearing a blue shirt

Carolyn Holyoke has been collaborating with Celtic musicians most of her life. What began as an interest in traditional Scottish and Irish bands during her late teens, eventually led her to musicians in the Maritimes who were equally passionate over the folk/roots scene.

After a career as a music specialist in the public school system, Carolyn performed with ECMA nominees Kathleen Gorey-McSorley, Derrick Paul Miller as well as the band Brollachan. This gave her opportunities to perform in Scotland, Ireland, USA, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. A keyboard person at heart, Carolyn has played piano and accordion at events such as ECMA and Music New Brunswick showcases, Contact East, Celtic Colours, Stan Rogers Folk Festival, the Nova Scotia International Tattoo and the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil.

Thriving on new challenges, Carolyn helped to form a Celtic band in 2014 called Tangled Traditions which includes Katherine Moller and Tom Richards. In addition she performs as a duo with Line Genviève Michaud. Their style can best be described as world music, with influences from a variety of cultures.

Having recorded with other artists, Carolyn stepped out and produced her own CD Collage in 2013. This project combined her love of writing, arranging and collaborating with friends and colleagues from Miramichi, New Brunswick to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Following a 2014 ECMA nomination in the Roots Traditional Solo Recording category, Carolyn earned three 2014 Music New Brunswick nominations culminating in Collaborative Musician of the Year Award.

Photo of Carolyn Holyoke standing up against an old stone wall wearing a black shirt

Music has truly been a driving influence in Carolyn’s life and in particular, the melodies, harmonies and rhythms of the Celtic genre. Putting her own stamp on traditional music while adding original material to the mix continues to be a favourite pursuit. When not working on a piece of music, Carolyn is producing such shows as Sounds of the Season, a popular Celtic Christmas show in Fredericton. She loves having another project in the works....”the excitement in the planning stages is half the fun”!

All of this began in Carolyn’s early years of taking piano lessons, conservatory exams and playing in local musical festivals. She studied at the University of New Brunswick, the University of Western Ontario and enjoyed a career teaching music at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Conducting bands and choirs, singing in choral ensembles, teaching instrumental music, directing a barbershop chorus and accompanying musicians of all stripes are a few of her diverse experiences.

Photo of Carolyn Holyoke & Line.

A recipient of Fredericton’s Diane London Award, Carolyn also composes/arranges and adjudicates music festivals. “When you are involved in music, there is no end of possibilities …. the latest arrangement taking shape, a gig fast approaching or an opportunity to play with someone new. I can’t imagine life without it!”